Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Cutting in line is American-pasttime?

There's this odd little essay in this morning NY Times.

The author is puzzled by the way Broadway audiences have taken to standing in single file queues to get in to the theatre before the show rather than pouring in through all doors as in a sea of humanity.

I agree that sometimes it does seem inefficient and curious the way people do that...especially because the theatres claim that people are doing it of their own accord...

I think that the blockbuster movie phenomenon is having an effect. Many movie theatres now let people in from lines they've formed outside. Then there's the fact that many of the patrons have probably just come from a long queue over at TKTS.

But the part of the column that really seems strange is that the author thinks standing in a proper line is somehow unAmerican...that our natural instinct is to find ways to cut in line.

That is not my experience. Americans are actually pretty good about lines. Oh sure, most of use would see nothing wrong with scanning the line to see if we spot a friend we can go talk to and glom onto their earlier place in line, but we got nothing on other cultures...where the standard is to brazenly simply push ahead daring someone to make the effort to stop you.

Is it just me?

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